Since March 11, the world has been without NBA basketball as the 2019-20 season was put on hold due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that swept the globe. Several players and team officials tested positive for coronavirus, but have fortunately been cleared of any symptoms.
During the season’s hiatus, the league office has been hard at work trying to find possible solutions and ways to bring back games while players were tasked with trying to stay in game shape in the comfort of their own homes.
However, recent developments have made a return viable and the growing sense is the regular season will resume albeit with some modifications to account for the time lost.
Walt Disney World has been touted as the most viable option for a bubble location which will also serve as a “campus” environment where players and anyone else staying there will be able to move freely in and out. Having a venue large enough to accommodate hundreds of people and the capacity for multiple basketball courts is a major step in bringing back basketball and it appears the league is looking to move forward with the proposal on hand.
As the NBA gears up to move its operations to its new proposed location, it appears that they have already begun to let teams know how many people will be allowed to come, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times:
League sources say NBA teams have been informed they would likely be allowed to bring (roughly) 35 players/coaches/staff into a "campus" environment if the 2019-20 season, as increasingly expected, resumes in July
In normal circumstances, team travel parties routinely exceed 50
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) May 22, 2020
The lower number of people in the travel parties is not unexpected as commissioner Adam Silver and the rest of the league office will be trying their hardest to limit the number of people who will be on-site.
Player rosters nearly make up half of that number, meaning teams will have to make some difficult decisions on who will have to be left behind if the NBA does proceed with this plan.
Things can always change as the situation evolves because the NBA is of course still subject to government and health official guidelines. Although states have begun to ease their stay-at-home orders, the threat of infection still exists and any further positive cases in the NBA would likely end the opportunity to bring back basketball back.
As things currently stand, though, the NBA is poised to make its long-awaited return much to the delight of fans and the players. The 2019-20 season was an exciting one and it is only right that it gets the conclusion that it deserves.